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Nova's 4th Round of Carboplatin Delayed, Should I Worry?
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Linden, MI
Forum Posts: 458
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30 January 2009 - 7:45 pm
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Nova and I went last Wednesday for her 4th (and last) round of Carboplatin and after the bloodwork, I was told that they could not do the treatment that day because her platelet count was too low. Of course I let it bother me a little more than it should have, because Nova's recovery has been great in every way. Can someone explain to me what this means when they have to delay the treatment?  I had just driven 3 hours in a snow/ice storm to get there only to have to turn around and head home, so in my frustration I failed to ask the right questions.

Now we are supposed to wait until next week, then I am going to go to my local vet for a CBC. If all is well, then I will make the hour drive back to the specialist. With my luck, we will get another big storm that day.

One thing that amazes me is the lack of side effects with Carboplatin. Nova's appetite has never been better! She's usually pretty lazy anyway, so I don't think she's more tired than usual. The only thing I have noticed is that the hair on her lower back is not growing back at all. Could this be from the chemo? They shaved a square in the area where the spinal catheter was, and the hair is not growing there AT ALL. But over her incision and on her side, there has been a lot of hair growth.

Sue and Nova

Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!


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30 January 2009 - 9:22 pm
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Tazzie almost always had a low platelet count after carboplatin (lowest was 26,000) so she usually got her treatments 3 1/2 weeks apart.  This should not affect the efficacy since it is labelled even for humans to give every 3-4 weeks based on CBC results.  If you don't let the bone marrow recover from the prior treatment you could get dangerously low platelet or white cell counts that could lead to sepsis or spontaneous bleeding.  It is unfortunate that you had to drive 3 hours to find that out!!!

Tazzie still has 1 patch of hair over her shoulder that is fairly bald.  Now that she is done with the carboplatin I hope that it will grow back.  She is on metronomics but the Cytoxan rarely causes hair loss, just bladder issues.

Don't worry about Nova; she is doing great!

Pam and Tazzie

sophie\\\'s mom
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2 February 2009 - 11:00 pm
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Sophie also had low platelet counts after her carboplatin treatments, and so also averaged about every 3 1/2 weeks.  She actually switched to cisplatin for her last two treatments, as they didn't want to continue to have to lower her dosage as they were doing with the carboplatin in response to the lowered platelet counts.  She finished up about a month ago… so far so good!

I was freaked out initially as it was something I hadn't heard of before (Pam's response was also very helpful for me then!) but Sophie was just fine, I doubt the extra few days/week will affect Nova's treatment, and it's great that she made it all the way to her fourth treatment before anything came up!  Good luck to you both!

Christine & Sophie

The Rainbow Bridge



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3 February 2009 - 11:19 pm
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Hey Sue, sorry you had to drive all that way and then turnaround. But better safe than sorry, right?

That hair regrowth thing is so unpredictable. It took me about 6 months to grow hair back at my incision site, but in other places on my remaining leg where they shaved, it grew back right away. All dogs are different when it comes to this.

Pam's right; Nova is kickin butt! Don't worry Mom!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Linden, MI
Forum Posts: 458
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4 February 2009 - 2:30 pm
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You were right. I took Nova to her regular vet this morning for another CBC and all was well again. So we are scheduled for the 4th and final dose of Carbo on Friday. I also found another strange lump on Nova that was different than her sebaceous cysts she seems to get all over. I swear, she has the skin of a teenager, the “Zit Queen”. It was on her right side and felt deeper than the others, not right under the surface of the skin. A little harder, and about the size of a pea. I was convinced it was a lung met, but my vet assured me that it was not! They did a fine needle aspiration, and didn't see anything scary. So that is good. It's so hard to not have a meltdown every time I see or feel a lump somewhere. I am always running my hands all over her body looking for lumps. No actually, I'll admit that I do that so I can get my “maximum dose” of Nova for whatever time she has left!  Did you see Marley and Me? When Marley's owner stroked every inch of Marley before he said goodbye? I do that every day, and I'll bet there are a lot of other people here who will admit the same! Smile Anyway, for some reason Nova has become particularly “lumpy” since the amp, no actually since her glaucoma and GDV a few years ago. Maybe it's all the stress that causes them, but I have spent a small fortune on aspirating each and every lump. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Today my vet pulled me aside and said “This dog is VERY lucky to have you.” Just made my day to hear that. I think us Tripawd parents are a rare breed! 

Dane Mom Sue at nova.tripawds.com and Mom to Beautiful Great Dane Queen Nova, a Blind Tripawd, who kicked cancer's butt from 11/08-03/13. The Queen is Spirit Nova now, but her legacy lives on here at Tripawds!

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 February 2009 - 5:13 pm
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Rock on, Nova! You are just way too pretty to be a zit queen though!

My friend Winston, a Weim, is very lumpy too. We could crown him Prom King and you Prom Queen!

My Mom knows what you mean about humans obsessing over our furry bods. My Mom always liked to smell my fur. She would put her nose on my head right between my ears and inhale for what seemed like forever! She said she wished she could bottle up my special puppy smell.

Thanks for the hoppy news!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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5 February 2009 - 10:56 am
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Ember also had a low platelet count; her second carboplatin treatment had to be delayed for a week and we gave her a round of antibiotics. She was fine otherwise – no nausea or lack of appetite. Our vet lowered the dosage of carboplatin for the second round. I have also wondered about the fur growing back – Ember still has an obviously shaved hind end and her surgery was in November. I know SHE is not embarrassed to be out in public, and it gives me a chance to raise awareness of cancer in dogs when we are out on walks, but I am looking forward to the day that her furry petticoats grow back and it should not even be evident she is missing a leg! Indeed she runs and plays just like she used to, and is happier than she has been for quite a while!

Jane and Ember

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5 February 2009 - 11:29 am
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Ok…I admit it…..I too am a smeller. i love to sit with Max and just smell his fur. I do it every morning before I walk out the door to go to work and every night when I pick him up. Right on the back of the head and between the ears.  I wish I could bottle it so it never goes away. We Tripawd parents ARE a rare breed!! Laughing

I havent seen Marley and Me and probably never will. I would have a complete and total meltdown that would take days/weeks to recover from. I wont even read the book. I am about crying just typing this!! Sheesh!

Nova girl, you are a lucky puppy and no matter how many zits you have you will always be your moms pretty girl!

Love to you both!

Paula and Max

Paula and Spirit Max

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